Children and young people involved in cyberbullying acts usually don’t tell an adult. They describe how they would not report cyberbullying to their parents, because parents would not understand it and because parents would probably restrict the use of internet and social networks.
So, parents must pay attention and be aware of some warning signs of being cyberbullied and some potential risks on the internet and social networks.
Some of the most common indicators are:
- upset during or after using the internet, social networks or the phone
- secretive about his/her online activities
- changes in the pattern of mobile phone or computer usage
- nervous when receive an instant message or e-mail
- changes in mood and behavior
- changes in sleep or eat habits
- anxious or fearful
- complaints of not feeling well
- somatic complaints
- withdrawal from the peer group and social activities
- slipping grades
- avoiding school
Some of the potential risks on the internet and social networks that your child is exposed to and that can result in cyberbullying:
- Someone entered to his/her e-mail account
- Someone sent an insulting email or a threatening SMS
- Someone shared with others in the internet intimate information about him/her that was embarrassing
- Someone posted online lies about him / her
- Someone offended she/he through the internet or mobile phone
- Someone excluded him/her of an online group/ game
According to some studies, if parents are aware of the warning signs and the potential risks of being cyberbullied, they could talk more with their children about these issues and better monitor their children’s online activities.
Also, the risk of involvement in cyberbullying decreases when parents regularly discuss the use of the internet and social networks with their children and supervise their online activities.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.